Rookie year, take two

Metairie, La. -- Frank Jackson could hardly contain his excitement to be back on the court.

“I'm excited for this weekend and for summer league!" Jackson said. "When training camps comes around and I can finally put on a jersey in the fall, I don't know. I just can't wait to get there honestly."

His teammates and coaches even took note.

“Ah Frank. I feel like he was so excited yesterday because that's the first time he's gotten up and down," said Pelicans forward Cheick Diallo. "But I was telling him you need to relax a little bit. Don't go too crazy and hurt yourself again. I feel like Frank is going to get there. I'm really glad he's back and he's finally going to play Friday and Saturday so I can't wait to see him and what he can do."

"Kid's been out a year," said Pelicans summer league coach Kevin Hanson. "Obviously he's excited to get back on the court and we're excited to have him and see what he's got. He's super explosive, looks really good. His rhythm will probably be a little off but we're going to try and get it there quickly."

Jackson sat out all of last season, in what would have been his rookie year, with a nagging foot injury. He first had surgery on it in September to repair a fracture, then he had to have scar tissue removed six months later.

"Yeah, it's been tough because I've never really had an injury my whole life up until last year," Jackson said. "I definitely was able to learn some things. That was my trial for the year but I think at the end of the day a lot of good came out of it. I think it'll only benefit me throughout this year."

At one point he thought he was going to be able to see some playing time after the initial surgery, but that wasn’t in the cards.

"You know yeah I did," Jackson admitted. "I thought I was at least going to be playing in January you know early February, but I just kept on having a little pain in my foot. Obviously you don't want to get set back again so we took care of everything and just shut it down for the year. It allowed me to rest and I feel great now."

Jackson is expected to play in both Friday and Saturday’s games, but will be on a minutes restriction. Hanson said he’ll be limited to about 25 minutes for the first two games and will gradually increase that time through the rest of summer league.